The Central Data Management Project (CDM) of the Biodiversity Exploratories Priority Program (BE) provides the platform for data storage and information exchange between the different working groups and between the BE and the public. The information system can be accessed here: BExIS. The major aims of this project include
- Provision of central storage, access and exchange facilities for FAIR datasets collected by all projects across different project phases
- Assisting the researchers, via out platform, in managing research data through its life cycle. This involves provision of tools and facilities for planning data collection, curation, storage, search and discovery, integration, visualization and publication of data
- Provision of tools for managing field work and resources
- Enhancing information exchange between members of the different projects in the BE, and providing other services that can enhance cooperation between the BE members
- Supporting the publication of FAIR data sets and providing access to the publicly available BE datasets.
BExIS – The Platform
Most of the services of the CDM project are delivered through its online platform called BExIS – Biodiversity Exploratories Information System. Some of the functionalities include tools for:
- Describing, defining the structure and uploading the datasets (with respect to syntactic, structural, semantic and physical formats) collected by BE projects
- Quality control, auto-summary report generation, editing, versioning, simple online (statistical) analysis, etc. of the uploaded data
- GIS-based visualization of data and plotting of research area
- Field work and resources management
- BE’s publication list management
- Information sharing and collaboration via wiki
- Fine grained user and rights management for control of access to data and functionalities.
This platform was established by Dr. Jens Nieschulze and colleagues (group leader Prof. Dr. Ernst-Detlef Schulze), MPI Biogeochemistry Jena in 2007. Since 2011 development and maintenance of the platform have been continued at the Heinz-Nixdorf-Chair for Distributed Information Systems, University of Jena (Prof. Dr. Birgitta König-Ries). In this phase, we will migrate the BE platform to the new open source version of the platform, BEXIS 2 (https://fusion.cs.uni-jena.de/bpp/).
Some of the tasks planned for the 6th BE project phase (2020 – 2023) are:
- Safekeeping of the BE data in a sustainable platform, including server management and maintenance, user support, and tool development
- Making BE data efficiently accessible within the BE, including data discovery enhancement, support for different data types (e.g. geospatial, audio, omics) and using visualization techniques
- Providing an environment for data curation supporting the provision of FAIR datasets
- Increasing the external visibility of the BE data by interlinking BExIS with national and international initiatives, further development of the public data page and pages for stakeholder communication
- Contributing to the further development of the BEXIS2 open source data management platform
- Finalizing the migration to BEXIS 2.